Research Article

Novel splice variants of the bovine PCK1 gene

Published: September 27, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 4028-4035 DOI: 10.4238/2013.September.27.4

Abstract

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1), also named PEPCK-C, is a multiple-function gene that is involved in gluconeogenesis, glyceroneogenesis, reproduction, female fertility, and development of obesity and diabetes. How its many functions are regulated was largely unknown. Therefore, we investigated mRNA expression and possible splice variants of PCK1 by screening cDNA in nine tissues from Holstein bulls and cows. PCK1 mRNA was highly expressed in the liver, kidney, ovary and testis; expression levels were low in the heart, spleen, and lung tissues. Expression of this gene was not detected in skeletal muscle. This led to the discovery of five novel bovine splice variants, named PCK1-AS1-PCK1-AS5. In PCK1-AS1, 51 nucleotides in the interior of exon 2 were spliced out. In PCK1-AS2, exons 2 and 3 were altered by the alternative 3' and 5' splice sites, respectively. PCK1-AS3 was truncated from the 3' end of exon 2 to the 5' end of exon 4. In PCK1-AS4, exon 5 was completely spliced out. In PCK1-AS5, exons 5 and 6 and the 5' end of exon 7 were spliced out. These splice variants (PCK1-AS1-PCK1-AS5) potentially encoded shorter proteins (605, 546, 373, 246 and 274 amino acids, respectively), when compared to the complete protein (622 amino acids). Considering the functional domains of the PCK1 protein, it is likely that these splice variants considerably affect the function of this protein; alternative splicing could be one of the mechanisms by which the diverse functions of PCK1 are regulated.

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1), also named PEPCK-C, is a multiple-function gene that is involved in gluconeogenesis, glyceroneogenesis, reproduction, female fertility, and development of obesity and diabetes. How its many functions are regulated was largely unknown. Therefore, we investigated mRNA expression and possible splice variants of PCK1 by screening cDNA in nine tissues from Holstein bulls and cows. PCK1 mRNA was highly expressed in the liver, kidney, ovary and testis; expression levels were low in the heart, spleen, and lung tissues. Expression of this gene was not detected in skeletal muscle. This led to the discovery of five novel bovine splice variants, named PCK1-AS1-PCK1-AS5. In PCK1-AS1, 51 nucleotides in the interior of exon 2 were spliced out. In PCK1-AS2, exons 2 and 3 were altered by the alternative 3' and 5' splice sites, respectively. PCK1-AS3 was truncated from the 3' end of exon 2 to the 5' end of exon 4. In PCK1-AS4, exon 5 was completely spliced out. In PCK1-AS5, exons 5 and 6 and the 5' end of exon 7 were spliced out. These splice variants (PCK1-AS1-PCK1-AS5) potentially encoded shorter proteins (605, 546, 373, 246 and 274 amino acids, respectively), when compared to the complete protein (622 amino acids). Considering the functional domains of the PCK1 protein, it is likely that these splice variants considerably affect the function of this protein; alternative splicing could be one of the mechanisms by which the diverse functions of PCK1 are regulated.